Feed refusers – strategies and options
Managing a feed refuser can be a tough assignment and quite exhausting work. And everyone has their bit of advice to give. Its made that bit more tricky with kids who are also allergic or intolerant to a variety of foods so please take all of these hints and tips with a grain of salt and consult your doctors / dieticians and other medical professionals with regard to new foods that might be an issue for your child. Please also take into consideration the developmental milestones of your child.
Jess, Belle and Jordan’s story
I’ll start with the good news … even though we were told that there was virtually no chance Jordan (now 12 weeks old) wouldn’t have severe reflux and food issues like his sister, I really haven’t seen much evidence of either of them. He reacts a little to a couple of foods (tomato, spicy foods, etc) but that’s pretty common, and while he vomits constantly he doesn’t seem to be in pain, and on the odd bad day, we just use Mylanta. Plus he’s thriving at about 7kg!
Belle’s issues were a little more complex, but she’s a bright, bubbly and very energetic little girl and coming up to 3.5 years. She stopped feeding altogether between about 5 and 7 weeks of age, and was tubed at 7 weeks. We were told it would be for 48 hours, but we ended up tube feeding for 2.5 years. After a year on the NG tube, and lots of admissions, they did a couple ofoperations to set up a PEG and then Mic‐key button [low profile tube].
Jo and Charlotte’s story
Charlotte is now 19 months old and it’s been quite a couple of years. Charlotte was an IVF baby and she didn’t come easily. She was small all the way through the pregnancy (3rd percentile) and eventually stopped growing around 37 weeks so she was induced. She went straight into the Special Care Nursery, had oxygen for a bit, a nasal gastric tube inserted and they started her on formula feeds (cow’s milk formula!). And so it began.